Resources

GENERAL

An independent scientific report commissioned by the RSPCA (Royal Society for Protection against Cruelty to Animals) in 2008, investigating the impact of traditional selective breeding on pedigree dog welfare. Many brachycephalic health concerns are discussed in the third part of the report: ‘Exaggerated anatomical features that reduce quality of life’. The paper also discusses possible solutions and recommendations. Referenced throughout. It can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking the link on this page.

A collection of videos produced by researchers at the University of Cambridge and collated by the Kennel Club. The videos explain what Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is, how it affects brachycephalic breeds and the signs and symptoms owners and potential owners should be aware of.

To access this resource you need to add the course to your basket and ‘checkout’ which involves inputting your name and contact details (but the course is entirely free!).

The blog from the makers of the BBC documentary ‘Pedigree Dogs Exposed‘ (see: Films and Documentaries). There is a vast wealth of information here with hundreds of articles covering current affairs, the history of selective dog breeding and welfare issues. Brachycephalic health issues are frequently discussed. Highly recommended reading.

Fantastic heartfelt blog by independent UK vet broadly covering brachycephalic health issues. The advice for prospective puppy owners towards the end of the article has some great points.

A succinct useful resource produced by the Australian RSPCA and the Australian Veterinary Association looking at the problems experienced by pedigree dogs with exaggerated physical features- mainly focussing on brachycephalics. The introductory video does a good job of covering general brachycephalic issues quickly. There are useful links for breeders, prospective and current owners at the bottom of the page.

Blog post contrasting photos of purebred dog breeds from the early 1900s and modern breed examples. Includes photos of Boxers, Bulldogs and Pugs as well as non-brachycephalic pedigree breeds.

BRACHYCEPHALIC OBSTRUCTIVE AIRWAY SYNDROME (BOAS)

The Cambridge Research Group are a collection of vets and scientists investigating respiratory disease in brachycephalic dogs. They have some fantastic comprehensive information covering all aspects of BOAS from its cause to recognition, treatment and prognosis. There are some great photos and videos clearly demonstrating surgical techniques and clinical symptoms. In addition, they also list their most recent journal articles and papers here.

The University of Cambridge is also one of the UK veterinary hospitals specialising in BOAS surgery. They also provide laser-assisted turbinectomy (a further surgical procedure) for dogs that respond poorly to traditional airway surgery.

A page produced by one of the UK veterinary hospitals now specialising in BOAS surgery. This article takes a more in-depth look at the causes, diagnosis and treatment options for BOAS and its secondary complications.

FUTURE SOLUTIONS

Statement from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) warning against the ‘normalising of suffering’ of brachycephalic breeds and role of vets in improving brachycephalic welfare.

An opinion piece by David Sargan from the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge University, discussing outbreeding and other possible measures to improve the genetic diversity and health of Pugs, French Bulldogs and Bulldogs.

BREED SPECIFIC

A 2016 study showing the limited genetic diversity of the English Bulldog breed.

Factsheet from the PDSA (UK veterinary charity) covering breed characteristics, health problems and estimated lifetime cost.

Factsheet from the PDSA (UK veterinary charity) covering breed characteristics, health problems and estimated lifetime cost.

Factsheet from the PDSA (UK veterinary charity) covering breed characteristics, health problems and estimated lifetime cost.

Factsheet from the PDSA (UK veterinary charity) covering breed characteristics, health problems and estimated lifetime cost.

Factsheet from the PDSA (UK veterinary charity) covering breed characteristics, health problems and estimated lifetime cost.

Factsheet from the PDSA (UK veterinary charity) covering breed characteristics, health problems and estimated lifetime cost.

This is a book about dog behaviour and emotions but it also covers pedigree dog breeding with particular reference to the resultant impact on behaviour. Critically written and referenced throughout. Read ‘The Problem with Pedigrees’ (Chapter 10 in the paperback edition).  This book was also republished under the title ‘Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behaviour Can Make you a Better Friend to Your Pet’.

Comprehensive book exploring ethical and welfare issues surrounding companion animals. Well referenced throughout. Read ‘Selective Breeding’ (Chapter 7 in the 1st edition).

A BBC documentary produced by Jemima Harrison in 2008 which took a critical look at the health and welfare issues facing pedigree dogs in the UK. The programme generated much needed discussion and criticism of the Kennel Club and resulted in three separate health reports being commissioned by animal welfare groups to look into Kennel Club and pedigree dog breeding practices. The impact of the report is summarised very well on its Wikipedia page and can be watched for free here.

Jemima’s frequently updated and incredibly informative blog which is also called Pedigree Dogs Exposed is also worth reading. There is a wealth of information about brachycephalic health issues (see websites: General).

Follow up to the original film, documenting the changes that the original film inspired and the reform that animal welfare campaigners believed was still needed. Watch online for free here.

A concise 30 minute BBC documentary investigating the ‘dark side of the designer dog industry’- including the surge in popularity of brachycephalic breeds and their associated health problems, as well as investigating the puppy farm trade. People residing in the UK with a TV license can watch it on BBC iPlayer here.

A group set up on Facebook for owners to have honest and open discussions regarding their dogs’ breathing issues, as well share relevant information about the various treatments available and other tips and tricks to help them breathe better. ‘The main purpose of this group is to help one another gain knowledge, care for our dogs, and to work more effectively with vets. Second, it is a place to feel love and support … period.’

There are some fantastic resources being shared on this forum. Please be aware that it is a closed page so you will need to submit a request to be added.

CRUFFA was founded by Jemima Harrison, the producer of the BBC documentary ‘Pedigree Dogs Exposed’ (see: Films and Documentaries). It is a repository for the latest brachycephalic news/research and a forum for discussion of the issue. CRUFFA’s aims are to ‘educate, inform and lobby in order to encourage everyone to breed, own and promote dogs with a more moderate phenotype’. There are over 1000 members of this open group with varying opinions and experiences, which leads to some interesting and often heated discussion. This is an open group.

Found a broken link? Have a great resource to add to this list? Please get in touch and let us know.

Last updated March 2017.

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